It's All About the Love.net | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

It's All About the Love.net 

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It's All About the Love.net, at Strawdog Theatre Company. Jamie Rothenberg's one-man show about a lounge singer turned self-help guru with an Internet talk show is oddly earnest for a late-night offering. In between visits from his lovelorn guests, Mickey Goodlove spouts the encouraging sentiments usually heard on daytime TV: "Open up to you," "Express yourself," "Dig yourself." Goodlove's guests are slightly reworked versions of familiar characters, such as a lothario whose self-image is shattered by a gay sexual experience and a model who falls for the first man to show no interest in her. His other guests are a former Deadhead with serious medical issues and a teenager who technically loses his virginity, then promptly loses the girl.

As a performer Rothenberg manages to give three of his five characters at least one genuine moment. But Goodlove's shtick isn't that funny, and overall the concept is dull. Rothenberg struggles to give his few jokes the punch they need, earning his biggest laugh by referring to himself as "the Mick" and even acknowledging the audience's restlessness. This isn't really a spoof of the inspirational talk-show genre, yet the confessions aren't compelling enough to win us over.

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